142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Lessons-learned from a vision care program expansion: Reaching students in elementary schools across the Philippines

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014

Innes Boland, MPH , Physicians for Peace, Norfolk, VA
Bibiana Gama, MBA , Global Health Programs, Physicians for Peace, Norfolk, VA
Addressing a significant gap in available vision care services to children throughout the Philippines, Physicians for Peace conducts a vision education and screening program in selected public elementary schools.  The expansion of the program, made possible through a grant from the USAID funded Advancing Partners and Communities project, warranted the enhancement of monitoring and evaluation practices and standardization of programmatic procedures.  Seeking and utilizing input from local optometrist volunteers, systematic data collection was strengthened in order to demonstrate program outcomes.  In order to reach children where they can easily and reliably be accessed, local volunteer optometrists’ visit schools throughout the Philippines selected in partnership with the Department of Education.  During these visits, optometrists conduct educational sessions on vision care for teachers and school staff, and provide screening and refraction services for children in selected grade levels.  The program served over 1,500 students in 12 schools in 2013 and provided education and training in vision screening to over 75 teachers and school staff.  Follow-up visits are currently in process among a sampling of schools to gauge compliance in eyeglasses use and to generate feedback from school administrators, teachers, and students.  Numerous lessons have been learned during this expansion period, informing opportunities for program improvement and further growth.  Areas of focus for future efforts include more effective ways to provide education and screening training to teachers, an enhanced understanding of differences in refraction needs among schools, and incorporating parental involvement and education as a way to reinforce the importance of vision health.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Discuss lessons-learned through the expansion of a global health vision care program reaching students in elementary schools in the Philippines. Explain the value of investing in local partnerships to build capacity for a vision care program implementation in a developing world setting.

Keyword(s): Vision Care, Community Health Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Programs Coordinator at Physicians for Peace.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.